The bitter reality of non-nutritive sweeteners: a global perspective applied to the Chilean context
Celis-Morales, Carlos [Univ Mayor, CIFE, Santiago, Chile]
Adela Martínez-Sanguinetti, Maria
María Leiva, Ana
Currently, non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) are widely used to sweeten foods instead of simple sugars, as they possess the advantage of not contributing to energy intake. Although they do not present toxic effects in general, epidemiological studies have not been able to show benefits when they are used in weight loss programs. However, they could induce metabolic alterations such as glucose intolerance. In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that many NNSs activate sweet taste receptors not only in the taste buds, but also in receptors present in adipose and pancreatic tissues, interfering with their normal function. In addition, NNS consumption has been associated with an alteration in the composition of the gut microbiota that leads to a low-grade inflammatory response. Due to the wide use of NNS in Chile, it is necessary to evaluate the potential health effects of using NNS in the Chilean population. We propose that a timely education of the sense of taste can contribute to moderating the preference for higher levels of sweet taste that humans develop in childhood, which could help to improve food choices.
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